April 19, 2019
When people first met Ronald Edgar Osborne, they often felt intimidated. A former London bobby, at 6′ 2″ and with hands like plates, our father towered over most people. Certainly he was a powerful man-and exacting. But he was also generous to a fault, funny at his own expense and very, very kind. Children and animals in particular knew him to be unfailingly gentle. He was part of the generation that rebuilt the world after two World Wars and The Great Depression–doing so without hesitation or complaint, taking any adversity in stride and just getting on with the work overcoming it. Our generation owes them a huge debt of gratitude. Our family owes him our everlasting thanks. He was deeply loved and is painfully missed.
Ronald Osborne died on April 19, 2019 at 10:30 pm at the age of 97 years old. Even in his death Ron showed dignity and rare determination. dealing with ill health without a murmur of complaint. On his final night, he chose to hang on until his grandchildren arrived at his bedside before finally allowing himself to pass on. His beloved wife of 68 years, Margaret, passed away in 2015.
Ron lived a very full and interesting life. He was born to a family of farmers in Strumpshaw, Norfolk in 1921. At 18 he joined up. He served the RAF from 1940 to 1948 flying 36 operational missions with Coastal Command. Following the war, he chose a career with the Metropolitan Police in London from 1950 to 1954.
On May 6, 1947 he married Margaret Williamson and together they had three children-Wendy, a teacher, Alan, a financial advisor and Robert, a documentary filmmaker and journalist. In 1954 Ron decided he wanted to create more opportunities for his children so he joined the RCAF and with his wife and three young children immigrated to Canada. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces until 1971 as a military policeman after which he worked in the Federal Penitentiary Service until 1984.
Dad lived happily in retirement travelling and enjoying the marriages of his children-Wendy to Roger Ayotte, Alan to Lorna Campbell and Robert to Jari Louie-and delighting in his grandchildren, Christopher, Sheena, Gavin and Alexa. He had the pleasure of knowing his great-grandchild, Lauren. Days before his passing, he received the news that Lauren’s father, Christopher, had made Brigadier General. “Top of the heap,” he whispered.
Ron was larger than life–with a deep internal strength that had to be experienced to be believed. If Ron set his mind on accomplishing something – as he often did–nothing would stop him. Whether it was choosing to “virtually” ride his bicycle around the world (which he accomplished in 1994) or start a new life half a world away, if Ron set out to do something, nothing would stop him.
There will be a service to celebrate his life on April 29th in the Tea Room at Henderson’s Funeral Home in Chilliwack. Those who knew Ron are welcome to attend. He will be interred, along with his wife Margaret, following the service.
Henderson’s Funeral Home